A relationship coach has revealed the importance of the unspoken ‘footpath’ rule – and why not following it might mean your partner doesn’t love you.
Kelley Bode shared that the ‘sidewalk’ or ‘footpath’ rule is when the man walks on the outside of the footpath, closest to the street.
Having your partner on the inside protects them from car splashes, traffic accidents, and other surprise events. It also applies in situations like hiking near cliffs and walking by bodies of water.
‘The psychological reason women like the sidewalk rule is because they want to feel protected by their man,’ she said. ‘Him moving her to the inside of the sidewalk indicates that he cares about her safety and wants to protect her.’
Kelley added, ‘It ticks a box deep inside our brain that says he’s a safe man who cares for us.’
Many women agreed and shared their opinions on the footpath rule.
‘It’s about chivalry,’ one wrote. ‘I can, without a doubt, say I’ve never opened any door around him and I’ve never walked on the traffic side of the footpath.’
‘My boyfriend is the one who told me about the sidewalk rule and he never forgets to follow it,’ another wrote.
A third shared, ‘My dad told me to never be with any man who walked on the inside, and he wasn’t wrong.’
‘My boyfriend always points out couples where the women are walking on the outside and claims their partners don’t love them,’ another added.
Some claimed it wasn’t a gendered situation.
‘I need the sidewalk rule so I’m contained,’ a man said. ‘Otherwise I’ll accidentally walk into oncoming traffic.’
But some men revealed their ire at the new dating ‘rule’.
‘So, I’m supposed to get hit by the car instead of her? That’s not happening,’ one said.
‘My body cannot absorb the shock impact of a car,’ another wrote. ‘What side I’m on doesn’t matter.’